Having recently arrived here from the Great Southwest, I thought I'd try one of the online dating services to meet suitable female companionship. I am not a nerd or a braniac, but I read a lot and do like some intelligent conversation in a partner. I find when minds meet, the physical sensations can be enhanced beyond belief. I have an intelligent-sounding profile and a nice photo and usually get plenty of hits that will provide sex—not that there's anything wrong with mindless sex with a beautiful airhead. I get my share.

Trouble is, every time I try to get a decent verbal and mental rapport going with interesting women so I can see if we should meet, they tend to flake on me and I get the "what's the matter with you, anyway" line.

Profiles are notoriously misleading, I know, but respondents all seem to seek "inspiration and humor" (classic musts) from a guy. Once the bonding starts, I get nothing like that in return.

Is there anyone out there turned on by anything other than "100 sex tips" from the femzines?

Lost in Space

Nope, sorry, women are uniformly vapid and only interested in shallow conversations about things like mascara and fat-free baked goods. Oh, and also whether or not these pants make our ass look fat. If you want to talk about boring old books (snore!), maybe you should start dating other guys. Because, speaking as a veteran online dater, most of the men I met were like you—more interested in intellectual discourse than sexual intercourse.

Yeah, right!

There are a couple problems that jump right out at me. The first is that I think there's a fairly good chance that you're coming off as a bit of an ass. By that I mean I'm getting a pompous vibe off you, and you aren't even hitting on me.

You should also not expect serious discussion from a girl whose profile photo features her with her ankles behind her neck. In a similar vein, you should avoid women who have even one self-help book on their recently read list or mention, no matter how fleetingly, a relationship-gone-by in their profile. Perhaps instead of waiting for ladies to come to you, you should do a little shopping yourself. (And while, yes, I know that answering ads often costs more, depending on the dating site, few qualities are less appealing—and more appalling—then cheapness. Pry open the wallet.)

E-mail flirtations should be kept to a minimum and used to rule out emoticon users, obvious psychos, and bad spellers. After one or two (brief, non-job-interview-type) e-mails, you should progress to talking on the phone. Once you determine she doesn't sound like a Kewpie doll (unless that's your thing), set up a date. I don't care if it's for dinner, coffee, or genital piercings; in-person meetings should be arranged as soon as both parties agree that there's no mutual repulsion happening. The sooner you find out whether you click, the better. Because who gives a shit about a snappy Nick-and-Nora-type online rapport if, when you meet, she smells like old cheese?

Which is why I don't get this whole "bonding" before you've met. That's a sucker's game if ever I heard of one. And frankly, your version of "getting to know you" sounds more like "getting to know if you're good/smart/witty enough to go out with me." If they're wondering what your problem is, I'm guessing I'm not the only one getting this impression. Who wants to be grilled by some jackass they've never even met? (What if you smell like old cheese?) It's insulting. If a potential date made me jump through hoops, intellectual or otherwise, I'd tell him to piss off. Not because I'm insecure, but because dating is all about taking risks. For both parties.

I've gone out with loads of men I was unsure about. Sometimes I was disappointed. Big deal. That's an hour or two of my life that I gambled away. More often than not, I had at least a little fun. And some of the most enjoyable dates were with dudes I had next-to-nothing in common with.

If you were having so much more luck with the ladies of the "Great Southwest," perhaps you should return to that neck of the woods—I mean, desert.

Unlucky in love? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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